JAM:PMerton,CFreud,GNorton,LSmith
WELCOME TO JUST A MINUTE!

starring PAUL MERTON, CLEMENT FREUD, GRAHAM NORTON and LINDA SMITH, chaired by NICHOLAS PARSONS (Radio, 20 December 1999)

NOTE: Janet Staplehurst's first appearance blowing the whistle.


NICHOLAS PARSONS: Welcome to Just A Minute!

THEME MUSIC

NP: Thank you, thank you, thank you, hello, my name is Nicholas Parsons. And as the Minute Waltz fades away once more it is my pleasure to welcome our many listeners in this country and also throughout the world, and also to welcome the four distinctive and individual players of the game who have joined me for this particular edition. We welcome back on my right that master of improvised comedy Paul Merton. And beside him a master of the witty comment, that is Clement Freud. And on my left, the master of the outrageous remark, that is Graham Norton, and being completely politically correct I must now say the mistress of stand-up comedy that is Linda Smith. Will you please welcome all four of them. And as usual I am going to ask then to speak on the subject I will give them and they are going to try and do that without hesitation, repetition or deviating from the subject. Beside me sits Janet Staplehurst and sheís going to help me keep the score and blow her whistle when the 60 seconds are up. And this particular edition of Just A Minute is coming from the city hall in that great city of Newcastle-upon-Thyme in the northeast of England. And we are part of the Newcastle Comedy Festival. And in front of us here in this fine hall we have a real Geordie audience ready to cheer us on our way. As we begin the show this week with Paul Merton. And the subject Paul, Narcissus. Tell us something about Narcissus in this game starting now.

PAUL MERTON: Well he was Greek and he rather liked the look of his own reflection. He would get up in the morning and have a shave and stand there in front of the mirror until it was time to go to bed. One day he was walking past the lake and he looked into the water and he thought "oh I am so beautiful". And he stared into the H2O and he thought "I am so wonderful I shall look at myself forever...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CLEMENT FREUD: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: I am so.

NP: Yes Iím afraid... Itís a tough game! Clement that is a correct challenge so you take over the subject of Narcissus and there are 40 seconds starting now.

CF: Iíve always been rather jealous of Narcissus because he admired his own image in a lake. And when I stand near water and look down, all I see is my stomach! Narcissus was a extremely good chap, called after a flower which has a large carona. Nicholas would know the one I mean...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton has challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation, yes. He was going into the world of horticulture, world of horticulture and got slightly confused. So Paul you got the subject back, youíve got a point for a correct challenge, 19 seconds available, Narcissus, starting now.

PM: Of course it was his undoing because he considered himself so beautiful that in the end he...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Heís been beautiful before.

NP: Yes when you... Your first go you talked about him being beautiful. So 14 seconds available for Clement Freud, having got another point, Narcissus, starting now.

CF: Florally a narcissus is daffodil like. You can go to Cornwall and get jonquils which are not unlike narcissi, which is the plural of Narcissus, a word I can use again because itís...

WHISTLE

NP: In this game whoever is speaking when the whistle goes gains an extra point. On this occasion it was Clement Freud and at the end of that round you will naturally have assumed and understood that he has got a commanding lead over all the others. Paul Merton has got one, Linda and Graham have yet to speak. But Linda Smith, will you take the next subject, itís things to do with an egg. Tell us something about that in Just A Minute starting now.

LINDA SMITH: Things to do with an egg. I can see the virile men of Newcastle thinking "easy! Things to do with an egg, you fertilise it!" Thatís what I do with an egg whether itís human or ostrich or platypus or chicken. Itís only just...

BUZZ

NP: Paulís challenged.

PM: Deviation.

NP: Why?

PM: Trying to fertilise an ostrich egg.

NP: Well another ostrich can do that quite easily.

PM: But not the men of Newcastle!

LS: I donít know...

NP: I donít think she was conveying she wanted all these men of Newcastle to rush out and fertilise all these ostriches all over. There arenít many ostriches in Newcastle to fertilise anyway!

LS: Itís not a bad idea is it? An ostrich is black and white, a Newcastle fan obviously! And if you had their long legs you could see at the match better!

NP: Youíd have to hold on for grim death the way they move across the...

PM: Oh youíd know about it, would you?

NP: Yes!

GRAHAM NORTON: Youíve obviously thought it through Nicholas!

NP: Do you know that an ostrich egg is extremely hard and solid and is very... I donít know how they ever get them through their... the part of the anatomy they come from! But you can buy them, they sell them in South Africa. Iíve got a friend whoís now done a deal with Harrods, and you can get enough, you can get enough from the centre of an ostrich egg...

LS: Now now!

NP: Theyíre interested, you can get enough... Paul it was not a correct challenge, she wasnít deviating from things to do with an egg. So Linda you keep the subject, you get a point for an incorrect challenge, you have 47 seconds to continue starting now.

LS: Now, Delia Smith has lots to do with an egg. In fact she built an entire TV show around a pan of boiling water and an egg. Riveting entertainment it was too! Much better than Walking With Dinosaurs, Iím sure youíll agree. Other things you can do with an egg, they may be served in various ways, which include poached, fried, scrambled, boiled, hard or soft, soufleed, omeletted, um, roast, stewed...

BUZZ

NP: You had to err eventually when you went through your list. But well done Linda. And Graham you came in yes, we call that hesitation and you have a correct challenge. A point to Graham Norton and 19 seconds available for him to tell us something about things to do with an egg starting now.

GN: Things to do with an egg, well, really you can do anything you like an egg. You can build a house out of eggs if you want to. Sadly it would all be messy and smell after a while! But you could! The one thing...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Deviation, I donít think you could build a house after eggs.

GN: You could, it would be smelly and messy though.

PM: No it would be smelly and messy, but it wouldnít be a house!

NP: No I donít think it would be a habitable residence Graham...

PM: No!

NP: ...I do think that would...

GN: I pointed that out!

CF: The thing is...

NP: Iíll tell you what Iíll do. Occasionally when I... yes, what do you want to say Clement?

CF: You did say things you can do with AN egg!

NP: Yes!

GN: And thatís what I meant for what is an egg but a home for a small chicklet?

NP: In this situation somebody has to have the benefit of the doubt. Iíve decided to give it to Graham Norton so he can... oh youíve got friends in Newcastle! And youíve got eight seconds as well to carry on with things to do...

GN: Thatíll be long enough!

NP: Things to do with an egg starting now.

GN: Oh...

BUZZ

NP: And Lindaís challenged. Linda you challenged?

LS: Oh did I?

NP: Yes! Your light came on.

LS: Iím sorry, it was a phantom challenge.

NP: So we decided you didnít challenge, Graham was interrupted, he gets another point, he keeps the subject, there are six seconds, things to do with an egg starting now.

GN: Donít go to work on an egg because people at the office will laugh at the funny stain...

BUZZ

NP: Paul has challenged.

PM: Thatís rich talk coming from somebody who says you can build a house with eggs!

NP: So your challenge, Paul? Deviation or...

PM: Does it matter? Deviation.

NP: Right well, itís deviation from what he was saying before so I give you the benefit of the doubt on this occasion and say Paul, you have half a second starting now.

PM: Iíll never forget the day I...

WHISTLE

NP: Paul Merton was then speaking as the whistle went, gained the extra point. And Clement Freud, you take the next round please. The subject is serendipity. Tell us something about serendipity in Just A Minute starting now.

CF: It is very serendipitous to move house, even in youíve previously lived in one built of eggs. We recently transferred our address from one part of London to another of that same city. And the extraordinary thing of leaving the previous establishment in which we resided, and picking up things about which we had entirely forgotten. Like my first wife, Gladys who appeared in a cupboard under the stairs. Pictures of enormous wealth, cutlery, crockery, glassware. Pictures, Iíve said pictures...

BUZZ

NP: Paul challenged.

PM: Honesty!

NP: So repetition of pictures, 17 seconds for you Paul on serendipity starting now.

PM: I think one of the most interesting aspects of the word serendipity that Iíve been given 17 seconds to talk about, is that if you were to ask me seriously, in all honesty, I would have to tell you I have no idea what it means! Hopefully that apology which Iíve conveyed to you now will be enough...

WHISTLE

NP: Paul Mertonís honesty kept him going till the whistle went. And Paul itís your turn to begin. The subject, taking coals to Newcastle. You have 60 seconds on that subject starting now.

PM: Itís a phrase meaning taking coals to Newcastle. If an area is particularly rich in a kind of product, then you would be ill advised to take that self same stuff to that place. Itís like Clement Freud going to Disneyland! It would be a contradiction. So much happiness and gaiety in the air, it would be a mistake for him to even bother to attend that particular one in Europe of course, thereís one in Paris, and you can go to Florida and other places in America...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition of places.

NP: Yes you did have too many places.

PM: Did I?

NP: Yes. So Clement has another point, he has the subject, he has 30 seconds, he has taking the coals to Newcastle starting now.

CF: If Stephanie Coles was to say to me "please take me on holiday" there is nowhere I would sooner convey here than to Newcastle underline. A great town in the Pottrays, not far from Stoke about which good books have been written like Anna of the Five t-o-w-n-s. I have to spell it because Iíve said it before. Newcastle in the northeast of England is a town...

WHISTLE

NP: So Clement Freud was then speaking as the whistle went, gained that extra point for doing so. Heís moved forward, heís still in second place, just ahead of Graham Norton and Linda Smith, behind Graham, and in the lead still Paul Merton. But Linda your turn to begin, the subject B movies. Tell us something about that great genre starting now.

LS: B movies, I love B movies. My favourite bee movie of all is The Swarm with Michael Caine. Itís marvelous. I love that bit where he says "but the bees have always been our friends". Thatís hilarious, it makes me laugh so much. I went to see another film called The Spirit of the Beehive, expecting it to be a bee movie but of course, it was rather disappointing because it was an arty Spanish film which was about fascism and Frankenstein. So a bit of a disappointment. Likewise disappointing was The Taste of Honey. Ah Rita Tushingham is quite unusual looking but sheís not actually a bee! Um, however a very good film I can recommend to bee movie lovers would be The Third Bee by Orson Welles, a story of corruption and thrillers and love in a post war Germany where Joseph...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Well thereís no such film as The Third Bee.

NP: No there isnít...

PM: And The Third Manís based in Vienna.

NP: So Paul, 11 seconds, you tell us something about B movies starting now.

PM: A great many great films... (starts to laugh)

BUZZ

NP: You get the subject...

PM: Thatís a record!

NP: Graham you came in first with your buzzer there and in eight seconds you tell us something about B movies starting now.

GN: B movie is a phrase meaning any film or motion picture containing Kevin Costner! You know itís not going to be very good...

WHISTLE

NP: And Graham Norton speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. Heís now moved into second place behind Paul Merton. And the irony of this game is when you consider that Linda Smith went for 43 seconds on that subject, did all the work, didnít get any points at all in that round, and the others coming in at the end got...

PM: Itís her fault for talking rubbish!

NP: I thought it was lovely rubbish anyway. So anyway, but letís see, it was the contribution, points are secondary. Graham Norton, itís your turn to begin, the subject, split infinitives. Tell us something about that particular subject in this game starting now.

GN: Split infinitives are wrong, we all know that! Infinitives should be together. But due to the pressures of modern English grammar, so many of them split up. Thereís a group for split infinitives called Splim. It stands for Split Infinitive Management. They meet and have little agendas. They might have at top of that piece of paper Item One, Graham Norton Talking About Us On The Radio, Does He Know What We Are! Iím there! I defend myself, of course I do! To explain would be to patronise the lovely people of Newcastle who all do understand what a split infinitive is! So I wonít go on about them in a technical way at all! I...

BUZZ

GN: Oh thank God for that!

NP: To talk for 53 seconds about something you didnít know what itís all about is a really great achievement!

GN: I know!

NP: And you wonít get... And Lindaís got in with a correct challenge, what was your challenge by the way Linda so I make sure I agree with it?

LS: General exhaustion!

GN: A sympathy buzz!

NP: Having him for hesitation are you?

LS: Yes I think so.

NP: Right, all right, heís done all the hard work, you get the point and youíve got seven seconds, split infinitives, starting now.

LS: Split infinitives are to do with grammar. Now grammar to me is like homosexuality...

BUZZ

NP: Clement you buzzed first, everybody spotted the grammar. Three seconds, split infinitives, Clement, starting now.

CF: I think itís quite wrong to say that split infinitives are not useful. They are...

WHISTLE

NP: So at the end of that round Clement Freud speaking as the whistle went gained another point. Heís moved forward, heís just one point behind our leader Paul Merton and then Graham Norton and Linda Smith in that order. And Paul itís your turn to begin. The subject, woofers and tweeters. Thatís a good subject. Tell us something about woofers and tweeters in this game starting now.

PM: Well of course theyíre part of a loudspeaker. The woofers as the name suggests carries the bass note. Woof is the kind of deep noise that you would expect to get from a woofer. A tweeter on the other hand as you would expect to from that very...

BUZZ

NP: Graham Norton challenged.

PM: Rubbish!

GN: He seemed to dribble away!

PM: How dare you!

NP: So you had him for hesitation, yes, 43 seconds for you Graham on woofers and tweeters starting now.

GN: Woofers and Tweeters are a very old firm that supply hi-fi goods to the Royal Family. A large Woofers and Tweeters van pulls up outside Buckingham Palace and the good Queen says "Hooray! Large things to put inside my house and play music on!" It is no accident that Buckingham Palace has a large party...

BUZZ

NP: Clementís challenged.

CF: Just thought Iíd challenge.

NP: What is your challenge?

CF: I donít know!

NP: Well he did actually repeat Buckingham Palace but...

CF: Well thatís actually what I thought! And I...

GN: Thatís fair enough!

NP: No, no, no, itís too late now! He didnít have a challenge.

GN: He does! Buckingham Palace! I said it twice!

NP: Clement you have 22 seconds, tell us something about woofers and tweeters starting now.

CF: Woofers and tweeters for those of us who donít have hi-fi, in which I would include myself, are dogs and birds, very nice things to have about the house. A woofer is simply a canine that says woof, whereas a tweeter is something that flies and goes tweet. Woofers and tweeters are exactly what you should give your godchildren for Christmas...

WHISTLE

NP: Clement Freud was speaking again as the whistle went, heís now just one ahead of Paul Merton and then Graham Norton and Linda Smith in that order. Linda, your turn to begin. Weíre up in Newcastle, the home of brown ale, talk about it, 60 seconds as usual, starting now.

LS: Brown ale, ah the champagne of the north! The fuel of this great city that we find ourselves in! I have never drunk brown ale but I believe itís a very useful commodity to have about you if you want to get completely out of your head for three pounds 50! Now... brown ale is unfortunately...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: There was a hesitation Iím afraid yes.

LS: Tadpole!

PM: Sadly!

NP: So brown aleís with you Paul, 43 seconds available, starting now.

PM: Well as Linda says, itís probably more a northern drink than a southern drink. I think I have...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Drink.

NP: Two drinks...

CF: Buckingham Palace!

NP: Clement you had a correct challenge, 37 seconds, brown ale, starting now.

CF: In Suffolk, we have a very good brown ale which is brewed by Adams and is called Broadside...

BUZZ

CF: It canít be very interesting to anyone here!

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Hesitation.

NP: That was a hesitation, Paul, yes...

CF: I waited for applause!

NP: Donít indulge him please! He didnít deserve anything and he didnít get anything!

PM: Donít rub it in!

NP: Twenty-nine seconds on brown ale with you Paul starting now.

PM: My sister Angela was in the Brownies and she used to come back and tell me all about Brown Owl and the various things they get up to in the woods, looking for pixies and elves and goblins and fairies at the bottom of the garden...

BUZZ

NP: Lindaís challenged.

LS: Deviation, I think.

NP: Why?

PM: She liked her brown ale, did Brown Owl!

LS: She liked her brown ale but she was in fact Brown Owl, so itís a different subject. Fairies, pixies...

PM: No it was a very strange branch of the Brownies, they liked a pint of beer...

NP: They could for all I know...

PM: And she was in charge of them!

NP: They could for all I know in that branch of the Brownies had a brown ale! We donít know, I donít know, you donít know!

LS: Well by the same token you could have a house of eggs!

NP: All right, Iíll put it to the audience, you can be the final judges on this one. I have to make these decisions. If you agree with Lindaís challenge you can boo for Linda, and if you disagree you can cheer for Paul and you can all do it together now!

BOOS AND CHEERS FROM THE AUDIENCE

GN: And suddenly, suddenly it was no longer a show, it was a rally!

NP: Right! Linda you have the subject, itís brown ale, back with you, you started with it, you take it back at last, 16 seconds starting now.

LS: Brown ale sadly these days is not a fashionable drink. But perhaps itís so unfashionable that it;s acquired retro chic and will suddenly become trendy again. Hopefully other traditional products of the north such as steel and ship building and manufacturing...

WHISTLE

NP: So Linda Smith was speaking as the whistle went and gained that audience endorsement for her comments and has moved forward rapidly, but not enough to move her out of fourth place unfortunately. And Graham Norton, itís your turn to begin and the subject is holding my breath. You look as if youíre doing it now! But will you talk on the subject, 60 seconds as usual, starting now.

GN: During some parts of my life, holding my breath is a skill Iíve tried to improve. But Iím still not that good at it. Think what you will! I remember as a child though thinking... oh Iíve said thinking before!

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged.

PM: Unfortunately he said thinking twice.

NP: He did say thinking twice and he admitted his downfall and 44 seconds for you Paul, tell us something about holding my breath starting now.

PM: This is how you hold your breath for 44 seconds. (Silence)

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud was the first to challenge.

CF: Hesitation.

NP: Hesitation yes, 41 seconds, you tell us something about holding my breath starting now.

CF: Iíve always believed that halitosis was better than having no breath at all. And people who suffer from that debilitating disease, or affliction would perhaps be a better name for it, tend not to breathe in order not to offend...

BUZZ

NP: And Paul challenged.

CF: Oh you canít challenge on not!

PM: You took the words right out of my mouth!

NP: So Paul another correct challenge, 24 seconds, holding my breath, starting now.

PM: It was a game that I used to play when I...

BUZZ

NP: Clement Freud challenged.

CF: Repetition.

NP: Of what?

CF: Words! Just one after another!

NP: Itís a clever idea but I... all right give Clement a bonus point, he obviously wants it! And Paul was interrupted, so he gets a point for interruption, he keeps the subject, 22 seconds, holding my breath Paul, starting now.

PM: I remember when I had my first swimming lesson, it was at Sutton Baths and the teacher there insisted that we dive in at the deep end and stay on the bottom as long as possible, holding our breath. There was one boy who was particularly good at it, heís still down there in fact and that was 1968! So it just goes to show that if youíve got real dedication, you can succeed in holding your breath for longer than you possibly thought...

WHISTLE

NP: Paul Merton then speaking as the whistle went gained that extra point. And Clement Freud you take the next round please. The subject is out of body experiences. Ah, like this, it depends on the body really, doesnít it? Sixty seconds as usual Clement starting now.

CF: Out of body experiences, there is in my body, a thin man whoís been trying to get out for many years now. he is about 11 stone, has lots of hair, more teeth than I, and ears that protrude unfortunately. But this chap who occupies...

BUZZ

NP: Paul Merton challenged. Whatís your challenge?

PM: Well, weíre not expected to listen to this, are we? Heís got a man inside him whoís got protruding ears!

GN: Is that why he canít get out?

NP: Yes!

PM: Precisely!

NP: I think itís very devious from out of body experiences!

PM: Eleven stone?

NP: Paul I agree with it, you have a point of course...

CF: What was his challenge?

NP: Deviation from out of body experiences.

CF: Ah!

NP: You, you, thatís a fantasy you have about somebody inside your body.

PM: Well itís a fantasy that we all share that inside us we have an 11 stone man!

NP: Thatís right, yes! I would call...

PM: Some more than others perhaps!

NP: Might be more...

CF: Not Linda!

NP: ... of an inner body experience really!

CF: I think we should exclude Linda from that generalisation!

NP: Right...

LS: If you insist!

NP: Iím going to... Iím going to give the benefit of the doubt to Paul and say that you have 33 seconds on out of body experiences starting now.

PM: Iíve only ever vomited on alcohol once, and that was about three days before I got married. I was at my stag night, and the traditional thing to do, a bunch of men go out together and drank a lot of beer. I seem to remember that Brown Owl was one of them and I was sick all...

BUZZ

NP: Graham Norton challenged.

GN: A woman shouldnít be at a stag night! Brown Owl, you see!

NP: Graham, a lovely idea, a lovely thought, a lovely interruption, and we give you a bonus point because we enjoyed it so much...

GN: You give me bog all! Get off stage!

NP: Paul was interrupted so he gets a point for that, he keeps the subject, out of body experiences Paul, starting now.

PM: There is a phenomenon which some people in. Itís called astral travel and you can travel... or...

BUZZ

PM: I had to try and make up a word!

NP: Clement you got in first, yes, he couldnít get another word out for travel, so you got in with 12 seconds to go on the subject of out of body experiences starting now.


CF: The body that I would most like to out of experience has um...

BUZZ

NP: Linda challenged.

LS: I think hesitation.

NP: Youíre right, yes, his body was getting very caught up there. So Linda weíre all going to hear from everybody on this subject. Thatís good because itís the last one, itís the last round and Linda you have six seconds to tell us something about out of body experiences starting now.

LS: I have never had an out of body experience but I did once open a tin of Tyzer and lemonade came out. Now you start explaining that...

WHISTLE

NP: So Linda Smith speaking as the whistle went gained an extra point and has moved forward. And I said just a moment ago there was no more time to play Just A Minute so let me give you the final situation. Linda who contributed so much did unfortunately finish in fourth place. But only just behind Graham Norton, whose contribution was equally exciting and delightful. And just ahead of him was Clement Freud. But one, only one point separating him from Paul Merton, so Paul we say this week, you are the winner! Well it only remains for me to say thank you to these four excellent and extravagant players of the game, Paul Merton, Graham Norton, Linda Smith and Clement Freud. I also must thank Janet Staplehurst whoís been helping with the score, blowing her whistle. We must thank the creator of the game, Ian Messiter and of course our producer and director Chris Neill. I also must thank this lovely Geordie audience here in Newcastle upon Thyme whoíve come from all parts of the north to cheer us on our way. Youíve been fantastic, weíve loved being here! I tell you what! Would you like us to come back again! From the panel, from me, Nicholas Parsons, and from this lovely audience, goodbye, tune in the next time we play Just A Minute!

THEME MUSIC